Associated Press

Gov. Cooper Vetoes Bill to Eliminate Judicial Primaries

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed Republican-backed legislation that would eliminate judicial primaries next year. The Democratic governor said Monday the legislation would erode voters’ ability to choose judges. The bill would eliminate primaries for 2018 judicial races ranging from Supreme Court to district court. It left November general elections in place. GOP legislative leaders have said eliminating the primaries would give them more time to study possible changes to judicial election districts. The legislation also would have reduced requirements for unaffiliated candidates in state and local elections among other changes. Monday marks the 13th time the first-term...

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UNC’s Fedora Plans More Involvement in Play-Calling Duties

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora plans to be more involved in play-calling duties with the Tar Heels off to a 1-5 start fueled by inexperience and injuries. Fedora said he would be more involved “when we are between series … in what I would like to try to do” entering Saturday’s home game against Virginia. “I’m not saying I’m taking over the offense,” said Fedora, speaking Monday at his weekly news conference. “That’s not what I’m saying. I’m not saying that at all. I’m just going to be more involved in what we’re doing.” The Tar Heels have traditionally...

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Hornets’ Jordan Donates $7 Million to Build Medical Clinics

Hornets owner Michael Jordan is donating $7 million to launch medical clinics that he hopes will help at-risk communities in Charlotte. It’s the largest philanthropic donation ever by the former NBA champion. The donation will fund two Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinics, which are projected to open in 2020. Jordan’s spokesperson Estee Portnoy told The Associated Press Monday that he “feels so great about being able to impact the Charlotte community and help people who really deserve it. Michael and Novant are really excited about this project.” Portnoy says Jordan, 54, was motivated by a study that found...

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NAACP Snubs NC Governor, Adding Pressure to Pardon Convict

North Carolina’s NAACP chapter is turning its back on the state’s most prominent Democrat, skipping its traditional invitation for Gov. Roy Cooper to be honored by the group seen as a stalwart backer of Democrats. Cooper’s office on Friday declined to comment on the civil rights group’s decision to shut out the governor from its annual convention this weekend. Cooper says he’s disappointed. State NAACP President Rev. William Barber told Cooper last week the governor and former state attorney general hasn’t done enough to free 42-year-old Dontae Sharpe. Barber wants a pardon for the convicted killer imprisoned for 22...

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Chemical-Maker Sued Over Drinking Water Pollutant Fears

A North Carolina man’s federal lawsuit contends chemical-makers for years released little-understood compounds into the drinking water for hundreds of thousands, hurting property values while the companies profited. Wilmington resident Brent Nix this week filed a federal lawsuit against The Chemours Co. and DuPont. He’s seeking compensation for lost property values and possible health problems. Nix wants the lawsuit to include more than 200,000 people served by a Wilmington water utility as well as others in the region who consumed household water. A Chemours spokesman did not respond Friday to an opportunity to comment. The Wilmington, Delaware-based company has...

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Police Find Stolen Construction Equipment in North Carolina

Police say they have found stolen construction equipment at a man’s home in North Carolina. Durham police said Wednesday they found a crane stolen from a worksite two weeks ago at the home of 34-year-old Jeffrey Jeffries. Investigators said they found several other pieces of equipment at Jones’ home. They said the crane had been missing since Sept. 18. Police say they also found a tree company’s truck and trailer, a construction truck and two mini excavators. Jeffries is charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, felony larceny of a motor vehicle, felony possession of stolen goods, misdemeanor...

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UNC: School Still Awaiting NCAA Ruling in Academic Case

North Carolina says it is still awaiting a ruling from an NCAA infractions committee panel handling the school’s multi-year academic case. In a statement Thursday, UNC spokesman Joel Curran says the school hasn’t received the public report that would include any potential penalties. Curran says it won’t come Friday due to “scheduling circumstances,” but didn’t elaborate further. Curran says the school expects to learn about 24 hours in advance of the release. In an email, NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn says no infractions announcement is scheduled for Friday but didn’t elaborate further. UNC appeared before the infractions panel in August...

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NC Utility Head on Drinking Water: OK as Far as He Knows

The head of the agency providing drinking water to more than 200,000 people in and around Wilmington says unregulated and little-studied chemicals in the Cape Fear River don’t make the water unsafe — as far as he knows. Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Executive Director Jim Flechtner told legislators in Raleigh on Tuesday that its water meets all regulations. He says the problem is too little is known about emerging pollutants to know whether they’re unhealthy or OK. The state Senate committee is investigating chemicals in the state’s rivers, especially the chemical GenX, used in making Teflon, which the...

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Supreme Court Divided Over Partisan Districting

The Supreme Court’s liberals and conservatives appear divided about striking down a Wisconsin redistricting plan because it is excessively partisan. The case is Gill v. Whitford – and the big question, after an hour-long argument Tuesday, is what Justice Anthony Kennedy thinks. The answer could reshape American politics. The North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform has long called for changes to the redistricting process – ending partisan gerrymandering and giving the power to an independent commission rather than allowing lawmakers to draw their own districts. Director Jane Pinsky discussed Gill v. Whitford with Aaron Keck on WCHL....

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NC Legislators Mull What to Do About Chemicals in Rivers

North Carolina legislators are grappling with the growing knowledge that industries have discharged unstudied chemicals into the state’s waters for years. A special state House committee on Thursday heard from health and environmental experts about the unregulated chemical GenX in the drinking water for more than 200,000 people in and around Wilmington. State Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore says the compound made at The Chemours Co.’s Bladen County plant might be hazardous to humans, but there’s been too little research to know for sure. Moore says the chemical is just one of many chemicals without studies showing how much is...

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